Civil Society Poonch Writes To The Governments Of India and Pakistan

   

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Poonch

The members of civil society of Poonch have appealed to governments of India and Pakistan to make immediate steps towards the restoration of peace on the LOC and implement in letter and spirit the ceasefire agreement of November 26, 2003.

“We urge that all efforts be made to defuse the tension on the LOC and restore trade venture and weekly bus service from Poonch- Rawalakote route so that we the people of border areas can live in our houses and localities near the LOC with a sense of peace and security in conducive atmosphere. This, we believe is in the utmost interest of the people residing on both the sides of the LOC”, reads a letter from the civil society of Poonch which they have addressed to the governments of Pakistan and India. The letter was signed by the Bar association Poonch, senior journalists in Poonch, Sarpanch, general secretaries LOC trade, president heritage centre, president Anjuman e Jafaria in Poonch and by various other officials.

The letter has briefed the governments of two neighbors about the consequences of their ceasefire violations on the people living along LOC. “For the people residing alongside 103 km long LOC in Poonch region, ceasefire of November 26, 2003 had brought peace, security and created conducive atmosphere for development in border areas. This was important as this region and the people and their socio-economic needs had remained neglected for 58 years due to continuous firing and shelling across the LOC. These conditions had subjected people to limitless pain and sorrow, death and injuries and filled their life with miseries and tension before ceasefire”, reads the letter.

However about the November 2003 ceasefire, the LOC people expressed their relief after 58 years. “The people of border areas got relief from war like situation when the LOC CBMs were introduced in 2005, and the cross LOC bus service started. It provided opportunities for the divided families to meet their relatives after decades.” In 2008 traders from both sides of the LOC were able to establish trade relations. Thus an atmosphere of peace and hope was created during the past ten years and the people residing alongside the LOC started the journey of progress and prosperity, further added the letter.

However in last few days this peaceful atmosphere has been distributed due to incidents of firing and killings across the LOC at various places in Poonch and Uri areas. The people of LOC have informed that there is a lot of tension and panic among the public. We the people of border areas who have enjoyed the fruit of peace and the LOC CBMs following the ceasefire on the LOC do not want the escalation of the situation and lives being distributed as a result of more killings.

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